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Re: Regarding Usage of CVS for Version control of Development Code

From: Erik Christiansen
Subject: Re: Regarding Usage of CVS for Version control of Development Code
Date: Sat, 7 Sep 2013 17:03:07 +1000
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.21+145 (2a1c5d3dd72e) (2012-12-30)

On 06.09.13 12:40, Chinmay Talati wrote:

> We would like to use CVS for our internal application code version
> control. We have team of around 10 people who will be simultaneously
> working on development of the application and to maintain the version
> control we would like to use CVS. 
> We would like to understand the use of CVS in our environment from
> License Usage and from legal point of view.

Often, the easiest way to understand the licencing of FOSS software is
to read sourcecode files such as COPYING. In the CVS distribution I have
here, there is also /usr/share/doc/cvs/FAQ, which begins by declaring
the licence conditions.

For more than 20 years I have used it for version control of production
software (for the telecommunications industry) at two different
multinational corporations, and it has served very well. (Without
concern that the versioning tool might have any legal implications on
our proprietary software. Remember, you're not integrating any of CVS's
code into your product, so the GPL has no impact, AIUI.)

Some developers say that Subversion is an improvement on CVS, but I have
found CVS a good fit for your team size - much better than Clearcase,
which was too great a maintenance burden for the modest team size, we
found. Even CVS benefits from one team member learning (over time) the
skills of managing the tool, and I always did that myself, including all
checkins and updates out of the release branch (or tagging of releases
if releasing from main).

One feature which saved us a lot of time was the automatic merging of
non-conflicting changes, with flagging of any which conflict. At the
second company, we had teams in Australia, India, and Japan, all working
on the same software. On one occasion, I merged almost 400 patches in
half an afternoon, needing only to view and choose when conflicts
occurred. I have heard a claim that Subversion is even better at this,
but whatever the tool, only a knowledgeable programmer can choose
between two concurrent edits to the same code lines. (So any basis to
the claim is obscure.)

If CVS experience is limited, there's benefit in building a trial
repository and thrashing it. Then delete it, and start again for the
production repository, free of the inevitable initial mistakes.

Hope that it serves you as well as it has me, for so long.


"The object-oriented version of 'Spaghetti code' is, of course, 'Lasagna code'
(too many layers)."                                         - Roberto Waltman

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